A closed-door unveiling of the forthcoming Google Home smart speaker platform included the nakedly anticompetitive news that vendors whose products support Amazon's Echo will be blocked from integrating with Google's own, rival platform.This is our modern economy: The free market has been supplanted by parasitic rent seeking.
These platforms are typically designed to allow their vendors to invoke Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it a felony to change their configurations in unauthorized ways, meaning that Google could convert its commercial preference ("devices either support Google Home or Amazon Echo, but not both") into a legal right ("we can use the courts and the police to punish people who make products that let you expand your device's range of features to support whichever platform you choose to use").
The DMCA is merely one example of this. It permeates our economy.
We see it in our IP regulations, our finance system, and our so-called "free trade" deals.
It's money for nothing, and these rents are redirected toward our political process to buy more direct and indirect subsidies.
The only question is how it ends: with an outbreak of sanity, or madame la guillotine.